a literary magazine about money, work, & class

sometimes people need a change

& that’s all i’ll say about it
says the owner of the restaurant

about the GM’s decision
to leave without notice, go back

to north carolina. you think
you will be lost without someone

but maybe it’s time for you to be
lost for a while. you think

well, maybe if they’d been better
employers to him. well, maybe

if he’d loved his girlfriend the way
she wanted him to, we wouldn’t

have to learn to do all the shit he was
doing for the restaurant. & i mean, yeah,

maybe, but they weren’t, and
he didn’t, & maybe it is good for us

to have the rug pulled out
from under us sometimes even if

all it means is a lot of shitty days at
our dumb restaurant job that doesn’t

matter anyway. it’s just
a restaurant, we’re not curing

cancer here.
nariya says
people know exactly what

they’re going to tip you the moment
they walk in the door, but she

gives them all her best, even when
they’re assholes, even when

she can tell that they’re
racist. kate hudson says

if you never take it seriously
you never get hurt
, in her one

good role, makes a dozen
terrible rom coms with

matthew mcconaughey somehow
also in almost all of them.

if you never get hurt, you always
have fun.
they know what they’ve

got in their pockets. and if you ever
get lonely…
i say, maybe
if everyone had to work

in customer service for some length
of time, people would be kinder

to each other, but that’s probably
bullshit. go to the pool hall & visit

your friends.
buy them city wides
& smile because you mean it.

listen: i didn’t start this with the intent
of coming for kate hudson.

listen: i hope the GM makes it back
to puerto rico where he says

he was happy. i hope when nariya
has children, they smile because

they mean it more often than not.

Amy Saul-Zerby

Amy Saul-Zerby is the author of two poetry collections, Paper Flowers Imaginary Birds (Be About It Press, 2017) and Deep Camouflage (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018). Her poems have appeared in The Rumpus, The Chicago Review of Books, Maudlin House, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Peach Magazine, GlitterMOB, and elsewhere.  She is editor-in-chief of Voicemail Poems and author of the Notable Philadelphia column at The Rumpus.